AMD slashed the price of their Radeon R9 Nano from a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $649 down to $499. That’s a huge ~23% off the original MSRP. First came out last September 2015, the AMD Radeon R9 Nano is an enthusiast graphics card that is geared towards small form factor builders / enthusiasts who want to enjoy high end graphics card performance on a small-sized PC. The Radeon R9 Nano features a 28nm Fiji with 4096 Share Cores, 1000MHz GPU clock speed, 4GB of memory and most importantly it is based on the new High-Bandwidth Memory or HBM technology. More details below.
AMD Radeon R9 Nano Now only $499
Below is the official statement of AMD regarding the price cut of their Radeon R9 Nano:
“This past September, the AMD Radeon R9 Nano graphics card launched to rave reviews, claiming the title of the world’s fastest and most power efficient Mini ITX gaming card, powered by the world’s most advanced and innovative GPU with on-chip High-Bandwidth Memory (HBM) for incredible 4K gaming performance. There was nothing like it ever seen before, and today it remains in a class of its own delivering smooth, true-to-life, premium 4K and VR gaming in a small form factor PC.
At a peak power of 175W and in a 6-inch form factor, it drives levels of performance that are on par with larger, more power-hungry GPUs from competitors, and blows away Mini ITX competitors with up to 30 percent better performance than the GTX 970 Mini ITX.
Today, Monday, January 11th, this small card will have an even bigger impact on gamers around the world as AMD announces a change in the AMD Radeon R9 Nano graphics card’s SEP from $649 to $499. At the new price, the AMD Radeon R9 Nano graphics card will be more accessible than ever before, delivering incredible performance and leading technologies, with unbelievable efficiency in an astoundingly small form factor that makes it a class of its own.”
When the AMD Radeon R9 Nano was first released, many enthusiasts (specially AMD fans) were very excited to see a high performance graphics card in a small form factor. It was primarily geared towards SFF builders and the only competition in this niche is the GeForce GTX 970 ITX version. Obviously, if you want to build a high performance gaming PC, the Radeon R9 Nano is the better choice. However, due to its original MSRP of $649, which is somewhat higher than expected, many were quite disappointed about it. It was even more expensive than the GeForce GTX 980 and it didn’t offer significant improvement in terms of performance to justify the high price.
However, with the recent move of AMD, this changes a lot and will have an impact specially for SFF builders, enthusiasts and modders. AMD also claims that aside from the price cut, the R9 Nano will be more accessible than ever.
AMD Radeon R9 Nano VS GeForce GTX 980
Now that the AMD Radeon R9 Nano is now cheaper and more affordable, the next thing that might come into your mind is whether you should buy an AMD Radeon R9 Nano or get one of the GeForce GTX 980 graphics card. To help you decide better which of the two graphics card is the best for your setup and needs, let’s break them into different criteria: size, performance, power consumption and price.
AMD Radeon R9 Nano VS GeForce GTX 980 – Size
The AMD Radeon R9 Nano is really a small graphics card. It occupies two expansion slots and it’s only around 6-inches in length. Meanwhile, the GeForce GTX 980 is around 11″ to 12-inches in length (depending on the aftermarket cooler). This makes the R9 Nano a better choice for SFF build. Currently, only the GeForce GTX 970-ITX version can compete with the Radeon R9 Nano in terms of size. Obviously when it comes to performance the R9 Nano beats the GTX 970.
AMD Radeon R9 Nano VS GeForce GTX 980 – Performance / Power Consumption
When it comes to performance, based on the reviews we have seen, the AMD Radeon R9 Nano offers a tad faster performance compared to the GTX 980. Depending on the game you play, the R9 Nano could provide an increase of around 3 to 15 fps (more or less) compared to a GTX 980.
When it comes to power consumption, it is the other way around. The GeForce GTX 980 (despite its size) generally consumes less power compared to the R9 Nano. However, just like their performance comparison, the difference in power consumption is not that huge at all.
AMD Radeon R9 Nano VS GeForce GTX 980 – Price
At the time this article was published, the cheapest GeForce GTX 980 are currently priced at around $487.20 to $509.99, and these are the: Asus STRIX GTX 980, MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4G, Zotac GTX 980 AMP! Edition, EVGA GTX 980 ACX 2.0 and Gigabyte GTX 980 Gaming-4GD.
Meanwhile, the current cheapest Radeon R9 Nano is the Sapphire R9 Nano and Power Color R9 Nano, both priced at $499. Not to mention that PowerColor is also offering a $20 rebate putting the R9 Nano down to $479.99. This makes the R9 Nano tad cheaper compared to most GTX 980 in the market. Because of the price cut this placed the R9 Nano neck-and-neck with the GTX 980, in most aspects except the size.
The only deciding factor left is whether you are going for a small form factor build or not. AMD fans will most probably support the R9 Nano, and same can be said with NVIDIA fans. But for those of you who are torn between the two cards, we think that the Radeon R9 Nano is the best choice if you are planning to build a small form factor desktop. Besides, a full-sized graphics card doesn’t look well when paired with a mini-ITX motherboard.